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gravitys rainbow Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. New York. 1973. Viking Press. 760 pages. Jacket design by Marc Getter. 0670348325.

 

There is no denying that reading GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is an undertaking and I don't pretend to understand everything that Pynchon is up to in the novel. One thing is for sure though, it is a novel like no other. Parts of the book will stay with you long after you have finished it. Not for the faint of heart, but well worth the effort.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is an epic postmodern novel written by Thomas Pynchon and first published on February 28, 1973. The narrative is set primarily in Europe at the end of World War II and centers around the design, production and dispatch of V-2 rockets by the German military, and, in particular, the quest undertaken by several of the characters to uncover the secret of a mysterious device named the 'Schwarzgerat,' or '00000. ' Frequently digressive and often playfully self-conscious, the novel subverts many of the traditional elements of plot and character development, traverses detailed, specialist knowledge drawn from a wide range of disciplines, and has earned a reputation as a 'difficult' book. In 1974, the three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction supported GRAVITY'S RAINBOW for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the board overturned this decision, branding the book 'unreadable, turgid, overwritten, and obscene. ' The novel was nominated for the 1973 Nebula Award for Best Novel, and won the National Book Award in 1974. Since its publication, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW has spawned an enormous amount of literary criticism and commentary, including two reader's guides and several online concordances, and is widely regarded as Pynchon's magnum opus. GRAVITY'S RAINBOW is composed of four parts, each of these comprising a number of episodes whose divisions are marked by a graphical depiction of a series of squares. It has been suggested that these represent sprocket holes as in a reel of film, although they may also bear some relation to the engineer's graph paper on which the first draft of the novel was written. One of the book's editors has been quoted as saying that the aforementioned squares relate to censored correspondence sent between soldiers and their loved ones during the war. When family and friends received edited letters, the removed sections would be cut out in squared or rectangular sections. The squares that start each of the four parts would therefore be indicative of what is not written, or what is removed by an external editor or censor. The number of episodes in each part carries with it a numerological significance which is in keeping with the use of numerology and Tarot symbolism throughout the novel. Many facts in the novel are based on technical documents relating to the V-2 rockets. Equations featured in the text are correct. References to the works of Pavlov, Ouspensky, and Jung are based on Pynchon's actual research. The firing command sequence in German that is recited at the end of the novel is also correct and is probably copied in verbatim from the technical report produced by Operation Backfire. The novel is regarded by some as the greatest postmodern work of 20th century literature, while others have declared it unreadable. The three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction unanimously supported GRAVITY'S RAINBOW for the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the fourteen-member Pulitzer board overturned this decision, calling the book 'unreadable', 'turgid', 'overwritten', and 'obscene', with at least one member confessing to having gotten only a third of the way through the book. The novel inspired the 1984 song 'Gravity's Angel' by Laurie Anderson. In her 2004 autobiographical performance 'The End of the Moon', Anderson said she once contacted Pynchon asking permission to adapt GRAVITY'S RAINBOW as an opera. Pynchon replied that he would allow her to do so with one condition: the opera had to be written for a single instrument: the banjo. Anderson said she took that as a polite 'no.'

 

 

Pynchon Thomas Thomas Pynchon is the author of V., THE CRYING OF LOT 49, GRAVITY'S RAINBOW, SLOW LEARNER, a collection of short stories, VINELAND and, MASON & DIXON. He received the national book award for Gravity's Rainbow in 1974.

 

 

 

 

pledgeThe Pledge by Friedrich Duerrenmatt. New York. 1959. Knopf. Translated From The German By Richard and Clara Winston. 185 pages. Jacket design by George Salter.

 

A police detective's relentless search to find a child-murderer in this unconventional story of guilt, responsibility, justice, and fate from the Swiss writer, Friedrich Duerrenmatt. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

  A child has been murdered. . . The official solution of the crime does not satisfy the inspector. He sets out on his own to find the bestial killer. Suspense mounts as the story turns into a bizarre tale of guilt and justice. The story of the sex maniac’s crime makes for harrowing reading, but the account of the detective’s decay as a citizen and a man constitutes an arresting and deeply moving human drama. He is driven by his pledge toward a stratagem as questionable as the crime itself.

 

 

 

Durrenmatt Friedrich Friedrich Durrenmatt (Duerrenmatt) was a Swiss author and dramatist. He was a proponent of epic theater whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author gained fame largely due to his avant-garde dramas, philosophically deep crime novels, and often macabre satire. One of his leading sentences was: 'A story is not finished, until it has taken the worst turn'. Durrenmatt was a member of the Gruppe Olten. Durrenmatt was born in Konolfingen, in the Emmental, the son of a Protestant pastor. His grandfather Ulrich Durrenmatt was a conservative politician. The family moved to Bern in 1935. Durrenmatt began to study of philosophy and German language and literature at the University of Zurich in 1941, but moved to the University of Bern after one semester. In 1943 he decided to become an author and dramatist and dropped his academic career. In 1945-46, he wrote his first play 'It is written'. On October 11 1946 he married the actress Lotti Geissler. She died on January 16 1983 and Durrenmatt married again in 1984 to another actress, Charlotte Kerr. Durrenmatt also some of his own works and his drawings were exhibited in Neuchatel in 1976 and 1985, as well as in Zurich in 1978. Like Brecht, Durrenmatt explored the dramatic possibilities of epic theater. His plays are meant to involve the audience in a theoretical debate, rather than as purely passive entertainment. When he was 26, his first play, It Is Written, premiered to great controversy. The story of the play revolves around a battle between a sensation-craving cynic and a religious fanatic who takes scripture literally, all of this taking place while the city they live in is under siege. The play's opening night in April, 1947 caused fights and protests in the audience. His first major success was the play Romulus the Great. Set in the year 476 A. D. , the play explores the last days of the Roman Empire, presided over, and brought about by its last emperor. The Visit which tells of a rich benefactor visiting her beneficiaries, is the work best known in the United States. The satirical drama The Physicists which deals with issues concerning science and its responsibility for dramatic and even dangerous changes to our world has also been presented in translation. Radio plays published in English include Hercules in the Augean Stables, Incident at Twilight and The Mission of the Vega The two late works 'Labyrinth' and 'Turmbau zu Babel' are a collection of unfinished ideas, stories, and philosophical thoughts. In 1990, he gave two famous speeches, one in honour of Vaclav Havel, and the other in honour of Mikhail Gorbachev Durrenmatt often compared the three Abrahamic religions and Marxism, which he also saw as a religion. Even if there are several parallels between Durrenmatt and Brecht, Durrenmatt never took a political position, but represented a pragmatic philosophy of life. In 1969, he traveled in the USA, in 1974 to Israel, and in 1990 to Auschwitz in Poland. Durrenmatt died on December 14, 1990 in Neuchatel.

 

 

0151436894 If  on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. New York. 1981. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Translated From The Italian By William Weaver. 260 pages. Jacket design by Rubin Pfeffer Jacket photograph by Benn Mitchell. 0151436894.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Beguiling and frustrating, IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER draws the reader in with each chapter, and at just the right moment Italo Calvino has a surprise for you. 'The catalogue of forms is endless. ' This quotation from Calvino's INVISIBLE CITIES applies equally to his imaginative flights in the present novel, his first In many years. Far from being a dead form, the novel here is shown as capable of endless mutations. IF ON A WINTER'S NIGHT A TRAVELER turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, author, ambiance, style; each breaks off with the first chapter, at a moment of suspense. A labyrinth, no less, in which two readers, male and female, pursue the story lines that Intrigue them. Thus, 'If on a winter's night a traveler' by Italo Calvlno gets Inextricably mixed up with 'Outside the town of Malbork,' a work of unquestionably Polish origin, redolent of somewhat carbonized onions. As the book branches out into known and unknown literatures, including a translation from an extinct language, the author, not without malice, rings the changes of contemporary literature with virtuoso versatility. The two be- wildered readers tie their own knots and end up in a king-size bed for parallel readings. They are the true heroes of the tale: for what would writing be without responsive readers? Would it be at all?

 

 

 

Calvino Italo Italo Calvino (October 15, 1923 - September 19, 1985) was an Italian journalist and writer of short stories and novels. His best known works include the Our Ancestors trilogy (1952-1959), the Cosmicomics collection of short stories (1965), and the novels Invisible Cities (1972) and If on a winter’s night a traveler (1979). Italo Calvino was born in Santiago de Las Vegas, Cuba, to botanists Mario Calvino and Evelina Mameli. (His brother was Floriano Calvino, a famous geologist.) The family soon moved to its homeland Italy, where Italo lived most of his life. They moved to Sanremo, on the Italian Riviera, where his father had come from (his mother came from Sardinia). The young Italo became a member of the Avanguardisti (a fascist youth organization in which membership was practically compulsory) with whom he took part in the occupation of the French Riviera. He suffered some religious troubles, as his relatives were openly atheist in a largely Catholic country. He was sent to attend a Waldensian private school. Calvino met Eugenio Scalfari (later a politician and the founder of the major Italian newspaper La Repubblica), with whom he would remain a close friend. In 1941 Calvino moved to Turin, after a long hesitation over living there or in Milan. He often humorously described this choice, and used to describe Turin as ‘a city that is serious but sad.’ In 1943 he joined the Partisans in the Italian Resistance, in the Garibaldi brigade, with the battlename of Santiago. With Scalfari he created the MUL (liberal universitarian movement). Calvino then entered the (still clandestine) Italian Communist Party. Calvino graduated from the University of Turin in 1947 with a thesis on Joseph Conrad and started working with the official Communist paper L’Unità. He also had a short relationship with the Einaudi publishing house, which put him in contact with Norberto Bobbio, Natalia Ginzburg, Cesare Pavese and Elio Vittorini. With Vittorini he wrote for the weekly Il Politecnico (a cultural magazine associated with the university). Calvino then left Einaudi to work mainly with L’Unità and the newborn communist weekly political magazine Rinascita. He worked again for the Einaudi house from 1950, responsible for the literary volumes. The following year, presumably to advance in the communist party, he visited the Soviet Union. The reports and correspondence he produced from this visit were later collected and earned him literary prizes. In 1952 Calvino wrote with Giorgio Bassani for Botteghe Oscure, a magazine named after the popular name of the party’s head-offices. He also worked for Il Contemporaneo, a Marxist weekly. From 1955 to 1958 Calvino had an affair with the actress Elsa de’ Giorgi, an older and married woman. Calvino wrote hundreds of love letters to her. Excerpts were published by Corriere della Sera in 2004, causing some controversy. In 1957, disillusioned by the 1956 Soviet invasion of Hungary, Calvino left the Italian Communist party. His letter of resignation was published in L’Unità and soon became famous. He found new outlets for his periodic writings in the magazines Passato e Presente and Italia Domani. Together with Vittorini he became a co-editor of Il Menabò di letteratura, a position which Calvino held for many years. Despite severe restrictions in the US against foreigners holding communist views, Calvino was allowed to visit the United States, where he stayed six months from 1959 to 1960 (four of which he spent in New York), after an invitation by the Ford Foundation. Calvino was particularly impressed by the ‘New World’: ‘Naturally I visited the South and also California, but I always felt a New Yorker. My city is New York.’ The letters he wrote to Einaudi describing this visit to the United States, were first published as ‘American Diary 1959-1960’ in the book Hermit in Paris in 2003. In 1962 Calvino met the Argentinian translator Esther Judith Singer (Chichita) and married her in 1964 in Havana, during a trip in which he visited his birthplace and met Ernesto Che Guevara. This encounter later led him to contribute an article on the 15th of October 1967, a few days after the death of Guevara, describing the lasting impression Guevara made on him. Back in Italy, and once again working for Einaudi, Calvino started publishing some of his cosmicomics in Il Caffè, a literary magazine. Vittorini’s death in 1966 influenced Calvino greatly. He went through what he called an ‘intellectual depression’, which the writer himself described as an important passage in his life: ‘. I ceased to be young. Perhaps it’s a metabolic process, something that comes with age, I’d been young for a long time, perhaps too long, suddenly I felt that I had to begin my old age, yes, old age, perhaps with the hope of prolonging it by beginning it early’. He then started to frequent Paris, where he was nicknamed L’ironique amusé. Here he soon joined some important circles like the Oulipo (Ouvroir de littérature potentielle) and met Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss, in the fermenting atmosphere that was going to evolve into 1968’s cultural revolution (the French May). During his French experience, he also became fond of Raymond Queneau’s works, which would influence his later production. Calvino had more intense contacts with the academic world, with notable experiences at the Sorbonne (with Barthes) and at Urbino’s university. His interests included classical studies: Honoré de Balzac, Ludovico Ariosto, Dante, Ignacio de Loyola, Cervantes, Shakespeare, Cyrano de Bergérac, and Giacomo Leopardi. At the same time, not without surprising Italian intellectual circles, Calvino wrote novels for Playboy’s Italian edition (1973). He became a regular contributor to the important Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. In 1975 Calvino was made Honorary Member of the American Academy, and the following year he was awarded the Austrian State Literary Prize for European literature. He visited Japan and Mexico and gave lectures in several American towns. In 1981 he was awarded the prestigious French Légion d’Honneur. During the summer of 1985, Calvino prepared some notes for a series of lectures to be delivered at Harvard University in the fall. However, on 6 September, he was admitted to the ancient hospital of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, where he died during the night between the 18 and 19 September of a cerebral hemorrhage. His lecture notes were published posthumously as Six Memos for the Next Millennium in 1988. His style is not easily classified; much of his writing has an air of the fantastic reminiscent of fairy tales (Our Ancestors, Cosmicomics), although sometimes his writing is more ‘realistic’ and in the scenic mode of observation (Difficult Loves, for example). Some of his writing has been called ‘postmodern’, reflecting on literature and the act of reading, while some has been labeled ‘magical realist’, others fables, others simply ‘modern’. Twelve years before his death, he was invited to and joined the Oulipo group of experimental writers. He wrote: ‘My working method has more often than not involved the subtraction of weight. I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language.’.


156584100x Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen. New York. 1995. New Press. 372 pages. Cover illustration by Jeff Danziger. 156584100x.

 

Not only a revealing look some forgotten American history, but at how American history has traditionally been taught in our schools.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

High School students hate history. When they list their favorite subjects, history always comes in last. They consider it 'the most irrelevant' of twenty-one school subjects; 'bo-o-o-oring' is the adjective most often applied. James Loewen spent two years at the Smithsonian Institution surveying twelve leading high school textbooks of American history. What he found was an embarrassing amalgam of bland optimism, blind patriotism, and misinformation pure and simple, weighing in at an average of four-and-a-half pounds and 888 pages. In response he has written LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME, in part a telling critique of existing textbooks but, more importantly, a wonderful retelling of American history as it should - and could -be taught to American students. Beginning with pre-Columbian American history and ranging over characters and events as diverse as Reconstruction, Helen Keller, the first Thanksgiving, and the My Lai massacre, Loewen supplies the conflict, the suspense, unresolved drama, and connection with current-day issues so appallingly missing from textbook accounts. A treat to read and a serious critique of American education, LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME is for anyone who has ever fallen asleep in history class.

 

 

Loewen James W American Book Award-winner James W. Loewen taught race relations at the University of Vermont. In addition to Lies My Teacher Told Me, he has written The Truth About Columbus, and (with Charles Salles) Mississippi: Conflict and Change, the first integrated state history textbook. He lives in Washington, D.C.

 

0151867208The Sunday Woman by Carlo Fruttero & Franco Lucentini. New York. 1973. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Translated From The Italian By William Weaver. 408 pages. 0151867208.

 

Both an elegant mystery, a love story, and a novel of manners and class, THE SUNDAY WOMAN is a neglected classic.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -


   A thoroughly unpalatable character is found murdered with a weapon so unspeakable that the police will not reveal what it is to the press, By an extraordinary web of circumstance suspicion falls on a scion of Turin's high society and his woman friend, much to the embarrassment of the local police. The investigator, a suave Sicilian, matches the subtlety of the charmingly snobbish suspects, for whom a man of his type is a beguiling novelty, as they are for him. It would be a mistake to label this book a murder mystery. It is a marvelously rich novel with fully rounded, indeed, unforgettable characters, structured around a murder case. The visceral curiosity about 'who done it' furnishes the suspense on the surface level, At the same time, however, the reader is constantly delighted by the wit and charm with which the two authors handle the inquiry. Two love stories, one escalating, the other disintegrating, are brought to beginning and end in the wake of the murder, generating their own suspense. This may well be the most delightful and sophisticated entertainment of this and many seasons. A pair of remarkably acute Italian writers have written a joyful book around a grim happening, and in the process given us the portrait of an Italian city--Turin--and its society, high, low, and dubious. Here, at long last, is a true novel whose scenes and people have real, continuing life, a novel that one reads with avidity and hates to put down.

 

 

 

Fruttero Carlo and Lucentini FrancoCarlo Fruttero and Franco Lucentini, who lived in Turin, were literary collaborators for fifteen years, editing, among other works, anthologies of American literature and science fiction. For their first supersleuth novel, THE SUNDAY WOMAN, they were awarded Italy's 'Book-of-the-Year' prize.

 

 

 

 

 

0520080351 Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Police Repression in Urban America by Frank J. Donner. Berkeley. 1990. University of California Press. hardcover. 503 pages. 0520059514.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER - 

 

  This landmark exposé of the dark history of repressive police operations in American cities offers a richly detailed account of police misconduct and violations of protected freedoms over the past century. In an incisive examination of undercover work in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia as well as Washington, D.C., Detroit, New Haven, Baltimore, and Birmingham, Frank Donner reveals the underside of American law enforcement. Protectors of Privilege spotlights the repressive police tactics of the past thirty years, particularly the urban intelligence operations and abuses that burgeoned during the political unrest of the 1960s and 1970s. Donner examines the open police violence and corruption in Chicago; the power-hungry Frank Rizzo, whose fear mongering polarized Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s; the ties between the police department and right-wing movements in Los Angeles; and the tarnished professionalism of New York's finest. Meticulously documented, Protectors of Privilege traces the history of countersubversion and police misconduct from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth, beginning with the Gilded Age repression of economic protest and anarchist activities. Donner exposes the machinations of City Hall to curb organized labor early in this century, overheated police behavior during World War I, the ideological response to the Depression and its consequences, and police misconduct during the Cold War. More than just a description of police intelligence and abuse of power, Protectors of Privilege demonstrates how patterns of police behavior accord with patterns of city politics as a whole and uncovers the ties between police departments, the CIA, and private right-wing groups. Donner first documents the shift in police interest from crime to countersubversion and then traces the connections between police corruption and countersubversive activities, probing, for example, the role of infiltrators and agents provocateurs in stimulating the violence they then exposed. Protectors of Privilege offers the most comprehensive account yet published of police misconduct and violations of protected freedoms in America. In a period when protest movements and ghetto unrest could spur a renewal of police abuses, this book speaks to all Americans.

 

 

 

Donner Frank Frank Donner (November 25, 1911 – June 10, 1993) was a civil liberties lawyer, author and the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's (ACLU) Project on Political Surveillance. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Donner earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin and a law degree from Columbia University. Donner worked for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from 1940 to 1945 before leaving for private practice, primarily representing the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America and the United Steelworkers of America. With attorneys Arthur Kinoy and Marshall Perlin he founded the New York firm Donner, Kinoy & Perlin, which specialized in representing progressive and leftist clients, including Soviet spy Morton Sobell and the Labor Youth League. In the 1950s, the firm represented numerous individuals, including labor officials, who refused to take loyalty oaths or to testify on their membership in communist organizations, as well as several who were prosecuted under the Smith Act. Donner, himself, was brought before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956, accused of membership in a Communist cell within the NLRB in the 1940s. He refused to testify, invoking his fifth amendment rights. Donner was a board member for the National Lawyers Guild. Beginning in 1980, Donner headed the Project on Political Surveillance for the ACLU. During that time he wrote several books outlining official use of domestic surveillance and the use of Red Squads, programs like COINTELPRO, and other agencies to infiltrate organizations suspected of political dissent. Donner also cited the government's use of scapegoats to divert attention from government criticism onto other political groups.

9780691161501 Cross and Scepter: The Rise of the Scandinavian Kingdoms From the Vikings to the Reformation by Sverre Bagge. Princeton. 2014. Princeton University Press. hardcover. 325 pages. Jacket design by Lorraine Betz Doneker. 9780691161501.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Christianity and European-style monarchy--the cross and the scepter--were introduced to Scandinavia in the tenth century, a development that was to have profound implications for all of Europe. Cross and Scepter is a concise history of the Scandinavian kingdoms from the age of the Vikings to the Reformation, written by Scandinavia's leading medieval historian. Sverre Bagge shows how the rise of the three kingdoms not only changed the face of Scandinavia, but also helped make the territorial state the standard political unit in Western Europe. He describes Scandinavia's momentous conversion to Christianity and the creation of church and monarchy there, and traces how these events transformed Scandinavian law and justice, military and administrative organization, social structure, political culture, and the division of power among the king, aristocracy, and common people. Bagge sheds important new light on the reception of Christianity and European learning in Scandinavia, and on Scandinavian history writing, philosophy, political thought, and courtly culture. He looks at the reception of European impulses and their adaptation to Scandinavian conditions, and examines the relationship of the three kingdoms to each other and the rest of Europe, paying special attention to the inter-Scandinavian unions and their consequences for the concept of government and the division of power. Cross and Scepter provides an essential introduction to Scandinavian medieval history for scholars and general readers alike, offering vital new insights into state formation and cultural change in Europe.

Bagge SverreSverre Bagge is professor emeritus of medieval history at the University of Bergen in Norway. His books include 'Kings, Politics, and the Right Order of the World in German Historiography'

 

krakatit Krakatit by Karel Capek. New York. 1925. Macmillan. Translated from the Czech by Lawrence Hyde. 408 pages.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   ‘Krakatit’ is an explosive powerful enough to destroy the world, which was discovered by the engineer Prokup. It is stolen from him, and he begins a long search to find the thief and recover the precious few grains which threaten the earth. The story leads to Balttin Castle, and its munition factory, where Prokup is held prisoner to force him to reveal the formula for Krakatit (and where he falls in love with a princess).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capek Karel Karel Capek (January 9, 1890 - December 25, 1938) was one of the most influential Czech writers of the 20th century. Capek was born in Malé Svatonovice, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic). He wrote with intelligence and humour on a wide variety of subjects. His works are known for their interesting and precise descriptions of reality, and Capek is renowned for his excellent work with the Czech language. He is perhaps best known as a science fiction author, who wrote before science fiction became widely recognized as a separate genre. He can be considered one of the founders of classical, non-hardcore European science fiction, a type which focuses on possible future (or alternative) social and human evolution on Earth, rather than technically advanced stories of space travel. However, it is best to classify him with Aldous Huxley and George Orwell as a speculative fiction writer, distinguishing his work from genre-specific hard science fiction. Many of his works discuss ethical and other aspects of revolutionary inventions and processes that were already anticipated in the first half of 20th century. These include mass production, atomic weapons, and post-human intelligent beings such as robots or intelligent salamanders. In addressing these themes, Capek was also expressing fear of impending social disasters, dictatorship, violence, and the unlimited power of corporations, as well as trying to find some hope for human beings.

  

0631189084 American Civilization by C. L. R. James. Cambridge. 1993. Blackwell Publishers. Edited & Introduced By Anna Grimshaw and Keith Hart. Afterword By Robert A. Hill. 387 pages. Cover design by Workhaus Graphics. 0631189084.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

    In his study of Herman Melville, ‘Mariners, Renegades and Castaways’ C. L. R. James wrote: ‘My ultimate aim. is to write a study of American Civilization’. This project, long in gestation, at last sees the light of day in this posthumous publication of what may be seen as the most wide-ranging expression of James’s thought, the link between his mature writings on politics and his semi-autobiographical work, ‘Beyond a Boundary’. In the tradition of de Tocqueville’s ‘Democracy in America’, James addresses the fundamental question of the ‘right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’. Ranging across American politics, society and culture, C. L. R. James sets out to integrate his analysis of American society in transition with a commentary on the popular arts of cinema and literature.

 

 

 

 

James C L R Cyril Lionel Robert James (4 January 1901–19 May 1989) was an Afro-Trinidadian journalist, socialist theorist and writer. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, then a British Crown colony, James attended Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain before becoming a cricket journalist, and also an author of fiction. He would later work as a school teacher, teaching among others the young Eric Williams. Together with Ralph de Boissière, Albert Gomes and Alfred Mendes, James was a member of the anti-colonialist Beacon Group, a circle of writers associated with The Beacon magazine. 

 

9780691126838 The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy by Adrienne Mayor. Princeton. 2009. Princeton University Press. 448 pages. Jacket illustration - Mithradates the Great, silver tetradrachm, 86-85BC. 9780691126838.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Machiavelli praised his military genius. European royalty sought out his secret elixir against poison. His life inspired Mozart's first opera, while for centuries poets and playwrights recited bloody, romantic tales of his victories, defeats, intrigues, concubines, and mysterious death. But until now no modern historian has recounted the full story of Mithradates, the ruthless king and visionary rebel who challenged the power of Rome in the first century BC. In this richly illustrated book--the first biography of Mithradates in fifty years--Adrienne Mayor combines a storyteller's gifts with the most recent archaeological and scientific discoveries to tell the tale of Mithradates as it has never been told before. The Poison King describes a life brimming with spectacle and excitement. Claiming Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia as ancestors, Mithradates inherited a wealthy Black Sea kingdom at age fourteen after his mother poisoned his father. He fled into exile and returned in triumph to become a ruler of superb intelligence and fierce ambition. Hailed as a savior by his followers and feared as a second Hannibal by his enemies, he envisioned a grand Eastern empire to rival Rome. After massacring eighty thousand Roman citizens in 88 BC, he seized Greece and modern-day Turkey. Fighting some of the most spectacular battles in ancient history, he dragged Rome into a long round of wars and threatened to invade Italy itself. His uncanny ability to elude capture and surge back after devastating losses unnerved the Romans, while his mastery of poisons allowed him to foil assassination attempts and eliminate rivals. The Poison King is a gripping account of one of Rome's most relentlessbut least understood foes.

 

 

Mayor Adrienne Adrienne Mayor is the author of ‘Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World’ and ‘The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times’ She is a visiting scholar in classics and history of science at Stanford University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0393033724 Against Forgetting: 20th Century Poetry Of Witness by Carolyn Forche. New York. 1993. Norton. 812 pages. Jacket painting by Fritz Winter, title 'Zerstorung', 1944. Jacket design by Susan Shapiro. 0393033724.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   This landmark anthology, the first of its kind, takes it impulse from the words of Bertolt Brecht: 'In these dark times, will there also be singing? / Yes, there will be singing. / About the dark times. ' Bearing witness to extremity - whether of war, torture, exile, or repression - the volume encompasses more than 140 poets from five continents, over the span of this century from the Armenian genocide to Tiananmen Square. 'Poetry cannot block a bullet or still a sjambok, but it can bear witness to brutality - thereby cultivating a flower in a graveyard. Carolyn Forche's AGAINST FORGETTING is itself a blow against tyranny, against prejudice, against injustice. It bears witness to the evil we would prefer to forget, but never can - and never should. ' - Nelson Mandela. 'In a class by itself, edited and and introduced with precise passion and Olympian breadth, AGAINST FORGETTING encapsulates both the horrors of our century and the power of musical language to make a place to live, breathe, hope, love. ' - Calvin Bedient. 'From every continent comes the news that our age is an age of murder and repression on a scale unimagined before. And yet I can't peruse this book without marveling at what beauty these writers have made of the calamity called the Twentieth Century. I would not have thought a poetry anthology could be so stirring.' - Arthur Miller.

 

 

Forche Carolyn Carolyn Forche, poet, translator, and activist, teaches writing at George Mason University. She has published two award-winning volumes of poetry, GATHERING THE TRIBES and THE COUNTRY BETWEEN US. In 1990 Ms. Forche received a Lannan Literary Award, granted to poets and writers of literary excellence 'whose work promotes a truer understanding of contemporary life.'

 

street houghton mifflin The Street by Ann Petry. Boston. 1946. Houghton Mifflin. A Literary Fellowship Prize 1st Novel. 436 pages.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   THE STREET tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s. Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork, The Street was Ann Petry's first novel, a beloved bestseller with more than a million copies in print. Its haunting tale still resonates today.

 

 

 

 

FROM THE SIGNET PAPERBACK EDITION - 

 

 

 

signet street 710 The unforgettable story of a beautiful woman beset by the passion, sin, and violence of the city. THE STREET - Her first novel, The Street, written while her husband was in the Army, is, she says, a kind of summing up of the things she saw and heard during the six years that she worked and lived in one of America’s largest ghettoes - New York’s Harlem. It won a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship award, and in 1946 was published by that company (which also published her second novel, Country Place, a non-racial account of a New England town during a hurricane). Of The Street said The Survey Graphic: ‘Miss Petry has written a strong and disturbing book. It is a callous reader, indeed, who will not be haunted by it for a long time.’ Born in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, Ann Petry comes from a New England family that has specialized in some branch of chemistry for three generations. If she had not married and gone to live in New York City, she would probably have made pharmacy her life work. Instead she found a variety of jobs in advertising and journalism that would give her an opportunity to write. While interviewing celebrities, covering political rallies and three-alarm fires for a Harlem weekly, reporting on murders and all other forms of sudden death, she acquired an intimate and disturbing knowledge of Harlem and its ancient, evil housing; its tragic, broken families; its high death rate.

 

 

 

 

 

Petry Ann Ann Petry (Ann Lane) was an African American author. Ann Lane was born as the younger of the two daughters to Peter and Bertha Clark in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Her parents belonged to the Black minority of the small town. Her father was a pharmacist and her mother was a shop owner, chiropodist, and hairdresser. The family belonged to the middle-class, and never had to suffer any financial struggles similar to those of many Harlem inhabitants. The Lane girls were raised sheltered from most of the disadvantages other black people in the United States had to experience due to the color of their skin. Only once did Ann experience racial discrimination when she went to school two years early at the age of 4 with her older sister Helen. On their way home, the two sisters were attacked by some white juveniles with stones. After the girls' uncles took care of this by threatening the wrongdoers the Lane girls were never bothered again. The strong family bonding was a big support for Ann's self-esteem. Her well-traveled uncles, who had many stories to tell their nieces when coming home, her ambitious father who overcame racial obstacles when opening his pharmacy in the small town as well as her mother and aunts, set a great example to Ann and Helen to become strong themselves. Petry interviewed by the Washington Post in 1992 says about her tough female family members that 'it never occurred to them that there were things they couldn't do because they were women. ' The wish to become a professional writer was raised in Ann for the first time in high school when her English teacher read her essay to the class commenting on it with the words: 'I honestly believe that you could be a writer if you wanted to. ' However, Petry decided on a rather stable education and followed the family tradition after finishing high school. She enrolled in college and graduated with a Ph. G. degree from Connecticut College of Pharmacy in New Haven in 1931 and worked in the family business for several years. On February 24, 1938 she married George D. Petry of New Iberia, Louisiana. This new commitment brought Petry to New York and eventually back to writing. She did not only write articles for newspapers like Amsterdam News, or People's Voice, and published short stories in the Crisis, but was also engaged at an elementary school in Harlem. It was during this period of her life that she had realized and personally experienced what the black population of the United States had to go through in their everyday life. Traversing the littered streets of Harlem, living for the first time among large numbers of poor black people, seeing neglected children up close - Petry's early years in New York inevitably made painful impressions on her. Deeply impacted by her Harlem experiences, Ann Petry was in the possession of the necessary creative writing skills to bring it to paper. Her daughter Liz explains to the Washington Post that 'her way of dealing with the problem was to write this book, which maybe was something that people who had grown up in Harlem couldn't do. ' She wrote her most popular novel The Street in 1946 and won the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. Back in Old Saybrook in 1947, the writer worked on Country Place, The Narrows, and some other stories but they have never achieved the same success as her first book. Until her death Petry lived in a representative 18th century house in her hometown, Old Saybrook. Ann Lane Petry died at the age of 88 on 28th April 1997. She was outlived by her only daughter, Liz Petry.

lonely londoners The Lonely Londoners by Samuel Selvon. New York. 1956. St Martin's Press. 171 pages. Author photograph by Robin Adler.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   There is a new type in the streets of London. His clothes stand out baroque and garish in the subfusc London scene, his voice is calypso-like, his smile is disarming, and his skin is black. He is, in fact, one of the vast and growing army of West Indian immigrants who have invaded the larger cities and whose calypso tunes and infectious gaiety mask the serious problems of a precarious existence. This is a book about these people by one of them, written in the very idiom in which they speak and think. Though the author writes it as a novel, we doubt if any of its characters is really fictitious. Here you may see through the eyes of the narrator, Moses, such flamboyant individuals as Five Past Twelve, Captain, the amorous young Sir Galahad and a host of others, toiling, 'Liming', gossiping and love-making. We follow them to their Saturday-night socials, their jive sessions and rendezvous on the park benches, see them crouching under blankets for warmth in winter and airing themselves voluptuously in the summer sunshine of mean streets. Samuel Selvon is a young Trinidadian whose first novel A BRIGHTER SUN was given such generous critical appreciation on both sides of the Atlantic. Carl Carmer wrote, 'Not since I read Porgy have I been so impressed by a work that concerns itself with the nobilities of primitive peoples striving to overcome limitations placed upon them by poverty and discrimination. ' Under the laughter and the lilting rhythms of Trinidadian speech, THE LONELY LONDONERS has the same compassion which made his earlier work so memorable.

 

 

Selvon Samuel SAMUEL SELVON was born in Trinidad of Indian parents. He went to school and college on the Island, and during the war served for five years as a telegraphist in a mine-sweeper. After the war, he worked on The Trinidad Guardian, and began to write short stories in his spare time, several of which were accepted by the B. B. C. Encouraged by this success, he came to England, bringing with him the manuscript of a novel called A BRIGHTER SUN, which was published by Wingates in 1952 and by Viking in the United States. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for his second novel, AN ISLAND IS A WORLD. THE LONELY LONDONERS is his third novel and the second to be published in America.

 

0300090471 Emilio's Carnival by Italo Svevo. New Haven. 2001. Yale University Press. Newly Translated From The Italian By Beth Archer Brombert. Introduction By Victor Brombert. 233 pages. Jacket illustration by Umberto Veruda, Terzetto'. 0300090471.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Italo Svevo's early novel SENILITA remained unknown for many years until James Joyce encountered the novelist in Trieste and came to admire SENILITA as a preeminent modern Italian novel. Joyce helped to launch Svevo's career, and years later Svevo achieved great fame with his masterpiece, THE CONFESSIONS OF ZENO. In SENILITA, Svevo tells the story of the amorous entanglement of Emilio, a failed writer already old at thirty-five, and Angiolina, a seductively beautiful but promiscuous young woman. A study in jealousy and self-torment, the novel traces the intoxicating effect of a narcissistic and amoral woman on an indecisive daydreamer who vacillates between guilt and moral smugness. The novel is suffused with a tragic sense of existence, and the unbreachable distance between one consciousness and another. Svevo 's unmistakably modern voice subtly captures rapid shifts in mood and intention, exploiting irony, indirection, and multiple points of view to reveal Emilio's increasing anguish as he comes to recognize the dissonance between himself and his world.

 

 

Svevo Italo Italo Svevo, nee Ettore Schmitz, was born in Trieste and lived there all of his life. His other works include UNA VITA, THE CONFESSIONS OF ZENO, several collections of short stories, and plays.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Archer Brombert is a professional translator and author. Her most recent book is Edouard Manet, Rebel in a Frock Coat. Victor Brombert is Henry Putnam University Professor of Romance and Comparative Literatures, Emeritus, at Princeton University He has written numerous books, including, most recently, IN PRAISE OF ANTIHEROES: FIGURES AND THEMES IN MODERN EUROPEAN LITERATURE.


master margarita ardis The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Dana Point. 1995. Ardis Publishers. Translated From The Russian By Diana Burgin & Katherine Tiernan O'Connor. 367 pages. 0875010679.

 

The Devil visits 1920s Moscow and reeks havoc in this black comedy of the effects of evil and the power of truth.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   This is the first translation of the most complete text of Bulgakov's exuberant comic masterpiece, and the first annotated edition. A literary sensation from its first publication, THE MASTER AND MARGARITA has become an astonishing publishing phenomenon in Russia and has been translated into more than twenty languages, and made into plays and films. Mikhail Bulgakov's novel is now considered one of the seminal works of twentieth-century Russian literature. In this imaginative extravaganza the devil, disguised as a magician, descends upon Moscow in the 1930s with his riotous band, which includes a talking cat and an expert assassin. Together they succeed in comically befuddling a population which denies the devil's existence, even as it is confronted with the diabolic results of a magic act gone wrong. This visit to the capital of world atheism has several aims, one of which concerns the fate of the Master, a writer who has written a novel about Pontius Pilate, and is now in a mental hospital. Margarita, the despairing and daring heroine, becomes a witch in an effort to save the Master, and agrees to become the devil's hostess at his annual spring ball by turns acidly satiric, fantastic, and ironically philosophical, this work constantly surprises and entertains, as the action switches back and forth between the Moscow of the 1930s and first-century Jerusalem. In a brilliant tour de force, Bulgakov provides a startlingly different version of Pontius Pilate's encounter with one Yeshua, a naive believer in the goodness of man. The interplay of these two narratives is part of the ingenious pleasure of this work which defies all genre classifications and expectations. The commentary and afterword provide new insight into the mysterious subtexts of the novel, and here, for the first time, THE MASTER AND MARGARITA is revealed in all its complexity.

 

 

 

Bulgakov Mikhail Eldest son of a professor at the Kiev Theological Academy, Mikhail Afanasievich Bulgakov was born in that city in 1891. After graduating in. medicine at Kiev University, Bulgakov was sent in 1916 (as an alternative to army service) to his first practice in a remote country region of one of the north-western provinces of Russia. There he worked for two years in sole charge of a local govenment clinic serving a large and scattered rural population. Late in 1918, after a spell as a hospital intern, Bulgakov returned to his native Kiev, where he set up in private practice as a specialist in venereology. Driven out, it seems, by the intolerable strains imposed on a doctor in a city racked by civil war, he left Kiev for the Caucasus; it was at this time, in 1919 or 1920, that Bulgakov resolved to give up medicine for a full-time literary career. Moving north to Moscow in the early twenties, Bulgakov endured a period of hardship and struggle to gain recognition as a writer. His first success was his novel The White Guard, originally published in serial form in 1925 and based on his experience of Kiev in the civil war, which he turned into a play for the Moscow Arts Theatre with the altered title of The Days of the Titrbins. From then on Bulgakov’s career was intimately bound up with the stage, in particular with the Moscow Arts Theatre under the joint direction of Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko, where he worked as an. assistant producer and resident dramatist until his break with Stanislavsky in 1936. After some time spent as an opera librettist with the Bolshoi Theatre, he was reduced to literary impotence by Stalin’s increasingly harsh censorship. Bulgakov fell ill with a painful kidney complaint in 1939, went blind as a result of the disease and died in March 1940. In addition to the stories in the present collection (first published in two magazines in the mid-twenties) Bulgakov wrote altogether fourteen plays, three novels and a rich and varied collection of satirical stories. Although many of his works still remain unpublished in the USSR, enough of his best books and plays have appeared posthumously, between 1955 and 1967, to have secured for Mikhail Bulgakov a place as one of the most original and powerful Russian writers of the twentieth century. Diana Burgin is Professor of Russian at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and chairperson of the Modern Language Department. Her book, SOPHIA PARNOK: THE LIFE AND WORK OF RUSSIA’S SAPPHO was published earlier this year. Katherine Tiernan O’Connor is Professor of Russian at Boston University and the author of Boris Pasternak’s My Sister—Life: The Illusion of Narrative. She it currently writing a book on Chekhov’s letters. Ellendea Proffer has translated plays and prose by Bulgakov, and is the author of MIKHAIL BULGAKOV: LIFE AND WORK.

 

Diana Burgin is Professor of Russian at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and chairperson of the Modern Language Department. Her book, SOPHIA PARNOK: THE LIFE AND WORK OF RUSSIA'S SAPPHO was published earlier this year. Katherine Tiernan O'Connor is Professor of Russian at Boston University and the author of Boris Pasternak's My Sister--Life: The Illusion of Narrative. She it currently writing a book on Chekhov's letters. Ellendea Proffer has translated plays and prose by Bulgakov, and is the author of MIKHAIL BULGAKOV: LIFE AND WORK.


world africa The World and Africa by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois. New York. 1947. Viking Press. 276 pages.

 

Although published in 1947, this book has a freshness of vision that many contemporary books lack. This is a serious look at Africa's contribution to world culture and Africa's place in world history. Of particular interest is the way that Du Bois connects the scramble for Africa to the First World War.

 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   DuBois never relented in attacks upon imperialism, especially in Africa. (His book entitled THE WORLD AND AFRICA was written as a contradiction to the pseudo-historians who consistently omitted Africa from world history. ) In 1945 he served as an associate consultant to the American delegation at the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco. He charged the world organization with planning to be dominated by imperialist nations and not intending to intervene on the behalf of colonized countries. He announced that the fifth Pan-African Congress would convene to determine what pressure could be applied to the world powers. W. E. B. Du Bois' THE WORLD AND AFRICA, which refutes the racist thesis primarily associated with Eurocentric historians that of all the continents, Africa had made no contribution to world history and civilization. Du Bois's main objectives in this celebratory book, as in his classic SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, were threefold: to write the history and culture of the people of Africa and African descent; to enable African Americans to identify with Africa as a proud and dignified source of identity that could be placed on an equal footing with Europe, Asia, and North America; and to posit Africa's humanism and rich heritage as a compelling argument against racism and colonialism. Du Bois believed that freedom was whole and indivisible, that Black people in America would not be completely free until Africa was liberated and emancipated in modernity; his Pan-Africanism was born out of the consciousness of freedom as a common goal for Black and Brown people.

 

 

 

Du Bois W E B William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963) was a black civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. He became a naturalized citizen of Ghana in 1963 at the age of 95. David Levering Lewis, a biographer, wrote, 'In the course of his long, turbulent career, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted virtually every possible solution to the problem of twentieth-century racism -- scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity. ' W. E. B. Du Bois was born on Church Street on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, at the south-western edge of Massachusetts, to Alfred Du Bois and Mary Silvina Burghardt Du Bois, whose February 5, 1867, wedding had been announced in the Berkshire Courier. Alfred Du Bois had been born in Haiti. Their son was born 5 months before the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, and added to the U. S. Constitution. Alfred Du Bois was descended from free people of color, including the slave-holding Dr. James Du Bois of Poughkeepsie, New York, a physician. In the Bahamas, James Du Bois had fathered three sons, including Alfred, and a daughter, by his slave mistress. Du Bois was also the great-grandson of Elizabeth Freeman ('Mum Bett'), a slave who successfully sued for her freedom, laying the groundwork for the eventual abolition of slavery in Massachusetts. Du Bois was born free and did not have contact with his biological father. He blamed his maternal grandparents for his father's leaving because they did not take kindly to him. Du Bois was very close to his mother Mary, who was from Massachusetts. Du Bois moved frequently when he was young, after Mary suffered a stroke which left her unable to work. They survived on money from family members and Du Bois' after-school jobs. Du Bois wanted to help his mother as much as possible and believed he could improve their lives through education. Some of the neighborhood whites noticed him, and one allowed Du Bois and his mother to rent a house from him in Great Barrington. While living there, Du Bois performed chores and worked odd jobs. Du Bois did not feel differently because of his skin color while he was in school. In fact, the only times he felt out of place were when out-of-towners would visit Great Barrington. One such incident occurred when a white girl who was new in school refused to take one of his fake calling cards during a game. The girl told him she would not accept it because he was black. He then realized that there would always be some kind of barrier between whites and others. Young Du Bois may have been an outsider because of his status, being poor, not having a father and being extremely intellectual for his age; however, he was very comfortable academically. Many around him recognized his intelligence and encouraged him to further his education with college preparatory courses while in high school. This academic confidence led him to believe that he could use his knowledge to empower African Americans. Du Bois was awarded a degree from Fisk University in 1888. During the summer following graduation from Fisk, Du Bois managed the Fisk Glee Club. The club was employed at a grand luxury summer resort on Lake Minnetonka in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. The resort was a favorite spot for vacationing wealthy American Southerners and European royalty. Du Bois and the other club members doubled as waiters and kitchen workers at the hotel. Observing the drinking, rude and crude behavior and sexual promiscuity of the rich white guests of the hotel left a deep impression on the young Du Bois. Du Bois entered Harvard College in the fall of 1888, having received a $250 scholarship. He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from Harvard in 1890. In 1892, received a stipend to attend the University of Berlin. While a student in Berlin, he travelled extensively throughout Europe, and came of age intellectually while studying with some of the most prominent social scientists in the German capital, such as Gustav von Schmoller. In 1895, Du Bois became the first African American to receive a Ph. D. from Harvard University. After teaching at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the University of Pennsylvania, he established the department of sociology at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Du Bois wrote many books, including three major autobiographies. Among his most significant works are The Philadelphia Negro (1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), John Brown (1909), Black Reconstruction (1935), and Black Folk, Then and Now (1939). His book The Negro (1915) influenced the work of several pioneer Africanist scholars, such as Drusilla Dunjee Houston and William Leo Hansberry. In 1940, at Atlanta University, Du Bois founded Phylon magazine. In 1946, he wrote The World and Africa: An Inquiry Into the Part that Africa has Played in World History. In 1945, he helped organize the historic Fifth Pan-African Conference in Manchester, England. While prominent white voices denied African American cultural, political and social relevance to American history and civic life, in his epic work, Reconstruction Du Bois documented how black people were central figures in the American Civil War and Reconstruction. He demonstrated the ways Black emancipation--the crux of Reconstruction--promoted a radical restructuring of United States society, as well as how and why the country turned its back on human rights for African Americans in the aftermath of Reconstruction. This theme was taken up later and expanded by Eric Foner and Leon F. Litwack, the two leading contemporary scholars of the Reconstruction era. In total, Du Bois wrote 22 books, including five novels, and helped establish four journals. Du Bois was the most prominent intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, the two carried on a dialogue about segregation and political disenfranchisement. He was labeled 'The Father of Pan-Africanism. ' In 1905, Du Bois along with Minnesota attorney Fredrick L. McGhee and others helped to found the Niagara Movement with William Monroe Trotter. The Movement championed, among other things, freedom of speech and criticism, the recognition of the highest and best human training as the monopoly of no caste or race, full male suffrage, a belief in the dignity of labor, and a united effort to realize such ideals under sound leadership. The alliance between Du Bois and Trotter was, however, short-lived, as they had a dispute over whether or not white people should be included in the organization and in the struggle for Civil Rights. Du Bois felt that they should, and with a group of like-minded supporters, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. In 1910, he left his teaching post at Atlanta University to work as publications director at the NAACP full-time. He wrote weekly columns in many newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New York Amsterdam News, three African-American newspapers, and also the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle. For 25 years, Du Bois worked as Editor-in-Chief of the NAACP publication, The Crisis, which then included the subtitle A Record of the Darker Races. He commented freely and widely on current events and set the agenda for the fledgling NAACP. Its circulation soared from 1,000 in 1910 to more than 100,000 by 1920. Du Bois published Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer. As a repository of black thought, the Crisis was initially a monopoly, David Levering Lewis observed. In 1913, Du Bois wrote The Star of Ethiopia, a historical pageant, to promote African-American history and civil rights. The seminal debate between Booker T. Washington and Du Bois played out in the pages of the Crisis with Washington advocating a philosophy of self-help and vocational training for Southern blacks while Du Bois pressed for full educational opportunities. Du Bois thought blacks should seek higher education, preferably liberal arts. Du Bois believed blacks should challenge and question whites on all grounds, but Washington believed assimilating and fitting into the 'American' culture is the best way for Blacks to move up in society. While Washington states that he didn't receive any racist insults until later on his years, Du Bois said Blacks have a 'Double-Conscious' mind in which they have to know when to act 'White' and when to act 'Black'. Booker T. Washington felt that teaching was a duty but Du Bois felt it was a calling. Du Bois became increasingly estranged from Walter Francis White, the executive secretary of the NAACP, and began to question the organization's opposition to racial segregation at all costs. Du Bois thought that this policy, while generally sound, undermined those black institutions that did exist, which Du Bois thought should be defended and improved, rather than attacked as inferior. By the 1930s, Lewis said, the NAACP had become more institutional and Du Bois, increasingly radical, sometimes at odds with leaders such as Walter White and Roy Wilkins. In 1934, after writing two essays in the Crisis suggesting that black separatism could be a useful economic strategy, Du Bois left the magazine to return to teaching at Atlanta University. In 1909, W. E. B. Du Bois addressed the American Historical Association (AHA). According to David Levering Lewis, 'His would be the first and last appearance of an African American on the program until 1940. ' In a review of the second book in Lewis's biographies of Du Bois, Michael R. Winston observed that, in understanding American history, one must question 'how black Americans developed the psychological stamina and collective social capacity to cope with the sophisticated system of racial domination that white Americans had anchored deeply in law and custom. ' Winston continued, 'Although any reasonable answer is extraordinarily complex, no adequate one can ignore the man (Du Bois) whose genius was for 70 years at the intellectual epicenter of the struggle to destroy white supremacy as public policy and social fact in the United States. ' Du Bois was investigated by the FBI, who claimed in May 1942 that '[h]is writing indicates him to be a socialist,' and that he 'has been called a Communist and at the same time criticized by the Communist Party. ' Du Bois visited Communist China during the Great Leap Forward. Also, in the March 16, 1953 issue of The National Guardian, Du Bois wrote 'Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. ' Du Bois was chairman of the Peace Information Center at the start of the Korean War. He was among the signers of the Stockholm Peace Pledge, which opposed the use of nuclear weapons. In 1950, at the age of 82, he ran for the U. S. Senate on the American Labor Party ticket in New York and received 4% of the vote. Although he lost, Du Bois remained committed to the progressive labor cause and in 1958, joined Trotskyists, ex-Communists and independent radicals in proposing the creation of a united left-wing coalition to challenge for seats in the elections for the New York state senate and assembly. He was indicted in the United States under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and acquitted for lack of evidence. W. E. B. Du Bois became disillusioned with both black capitalism and racism in the United States. In 1959, Du Bois received the Lenin Peace Prize. In 1961, at the age of 93, he joined the Communist Party USA. Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the Encyclopedia Africana, a government production, and a long-held dream of his. When, in 1963, he was refused a new U. S. passport, he and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, became citizens of Ghana, renouncing his US citizenship. Du Bois' health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninety-five, one day before Martin Luther King, Jr. 's 'I Have a Dream' speech. At the March on Washington, Roy Wilkins informed the hundreds of thousands of marchers and called for a moment of silence. Young Du Bois may have been an outsider because of his status, being poor, not having a father and being extremely intellectual for his age; however, he was very comfortable academically. Many around him recognized his intelligence and encouraged him to further his education with college preparatory courses while in high school. This academic confidence led him to believe that he could use his knowledge to empower African Americans. Du Bois was awarded a degree from Fisk University in 1888. During the summer following graduation from Fisk, Du Bois managed the Fisk Glee Club. The club was employed at a grand luxury summer resort on Lake Minnetonka in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. The resort was a favorite spot for vacationing wealthy American Southerners and European royalty. Du Bois and the other club members doubled as waiters and kitchen workers at the hotel. Observing the drinking, rude and crude behavior and sexual promiscuity of the rich white guests of the hotel left a deep impression on the young Du Bois. Du Bois entered Harvard College in the fall of 1888, having received a $250 scholarship. He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from Harvard in 1890. In 1892, received a stipend to attend the University of Berlin. While a student in Berlin, he travelled extensively throughout Europe, and came of age intellectually while studying with some of the most prominent social scientists in the German capital, such as Gustav von Schmoller. In 1895, Du Bois became the first African American to receive a Ph. D. from Harvard University. After teaching at Wilberforce University in Ohio and the University of Pennsylvania, he established the department of sociology at Atlanta University Du Bois wrote many books, including three major autobiographies. Among his most significant works are The Philadelphia Negro , The Souls of Black Folk , John Brown , Black Reconstruction , and Black Folk, Then and Now His book The Negro influenced the work of several pioneer Africanist scholars, such as Drusilla Dunjee Houston and William Leo Hansberry. In 1940, at Atlanta University, Du Bois founded Phylon magazine. In 1946, he wrote The World and Africa: An Inquiry Into the Part that Africa has Played in World History. In 1945, he helped organize the historic Fifth Pan-African Conference in Manchester, England. While prominent white voices denied African American cultural, political and social relevance to American history and civic life, in his epic work, Reconstruction Du Bois documented how black people were central figures in the American Civil War and Reconstruction. He demonstrated the ways Black emancipation--the crux of Reconstruction--promoted a radical restructuring of United States society, as well as how and why the country turned its back on human rights for African Americans in the aftermath of Reconstruction. This theme was taken up later and expanded by Eric Foner and Leon F. Litwack, the two leading contemporary scholars of the Reconstruction era. In total, Du Bois wrote 22 books, including five novels, and helped establish four journals. Du Bois was the most prominent intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, the two carried on a dialogue about segregation and political disenfranchisement. He was labeled 'The Father of Pan-Africanism. ' In 1905, Du Bois along with Minnesota attorney Fredrick L. McGhee and others helped to found the Niagara Movement with William Monroe Trotter. The Movement championed, among other things, freedom of speech and criticism, the recognition of the highest and best human training as the monopoly of no caste or race, full male suffrage, a belief in the dignity of labor, and a united effort to realize such ideals under sound leadership. The alliance between Du Bois and Trotter was, however, short-lived, as they had a dispute over whether or not white people should be included in the organization and in the struggle for Civil Rights. Du Bois felt that they should, and with a group of like-minded supporters, he helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. In 1910, he left his teaching post at Atlanta University to work as publications director at the NAACP full-time. He wrote weekly columns in many newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New York Amsterdam News, three African-American newspapers, and also the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle. For 25 years, Du Bois worked as Editor-in-Chief of the NAACP publication, The Crisis, which then included the subtitle A Record of the Darker Races. He commented freely and widely on current events and set the agenda for the fledgling NAACP. Its circulation soared from 1,000 in 1910 to more than 100,000 by 1920. Du Bois published Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer. As a repository of black thought, the Crisis was initially a monopoly, David Levering Lewis observed. In 1913, Du Bois wrote The Star of Ethiopia, a historical pageant, to promote African-American history and civil rights. The seminal debate between Booker T. Washington and Du Bois played out in the pages of the Crisis with Washington advocating a philosophy of self-help and vocational training for Southern blacks while Du Bois pressed for full educational opportunities. Du Bois thought blacks should seek higher education, preferably liberal arts. Du Bois believed blacks should challenge and question whites on all grounds, but Washington believed assimilating and fitting into the 'American' culture is the best way for Blacks to move up in society. While Washington states that he didn't receive any racist insults until later on his years, Du Bois said Blacks have a 'Double-Conscious' mind in which they have to know when to act 'White' and when to act 'Black'. Booker T. Washington felt that teaching was a duty but Du Bois felt it was a calling. Du Bois became increasingly estranged from Walter Francis White, the executive secretary of the NAACP, and began to question the organization's opposition to racial segregation at all costs. Du Bois thought that this policy, while generally sound, undermined those black institutions that did exist, which Du Bois thought should be defended and improved, rather than attacked as inferior by the 1930s, Lewis said, the NAACP had become more institutional and Du Bois, increasingly radical, sometimes at odds with leaders such as Walter White and Roy Wilkins. In 1934, after writing two essays in the Crisis suggesting that black separatism could be a useful economic strategy, Du Bois left the magazine to return to teaching at Atlanta University. In 1909, W. E. B. Du Bois addressed the American Historical Association According to David Levering Lewis, 'His would be the first and last appearance of an African American on the program until 1940. ' In a review of the second book in Lewis's biographies of Du Bois, Michael R. Winston observed that, in understanding American history, one must question 'how black Americans developed the psychological stamina and collective social capacity to cope with the sophisticated system of racial domination that white Americans had anchored deeply in law and custom. ' Winston continued, 'Although any reasonable answer is extraordinarily complex, no adequate one can ignore the man whose genius was for 70 years at the intellectual epicenter of the struggle to destroy white supremacy as public policy and social fact in the United States. ' Du Bois was investigated by the FBI, who claimed in May 1942 that '[h]is writing indicates him to be a socialist,' and that he 'has been called a Communist and at the same time criticized by the Communist Party. ' Du Bois visited Communist China during the Great Leap Forward. Also, in the March 16, 1953 issue of The National Guardian, Du Bois wrote 'Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. ' Du Bois was chairman of the Peace Information Center at the start of the Korean War. He was among the signers of the Stockholm Peace Pledge, which opposed the use of nuclear weapons. In 1950, at the age of 82, he ran for the U. S. Senate on the American Labor Party ticket in New York and received 4% of the vote. Although he lost, Du Bois remained committed to the progressive labor cause and in 1958, joined Trotskyists, ex-Communists and independent radicals in proposing the creation of a united left-wing coalition to challenge for seats in the elections for the New York state senate and assembly. He was indicted in the United States under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and acquitted for lack of evidence. W. E. B. Du Bois became disillusioned with both black capitalism and racism in the United States. In 1959, Du Bois received the Lenin Peace Prize. In 1961, at the age of 93, he joined the Communist Party USA. Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the Encyclopedia Africana, a government production, and a long-held dream of his. When, in 1963, he was refused a new U. S. passport, he and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, became citizens of Ghana, renouncing his US citizenship. Du Bois' health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninety-five, one day before Martin Luther King, Jr. 's 'I Have a Dream' speech. At the March on Washington, Roy Wilkins informed the hundreds of thousands of marchers and called for a moment of silence.

 

 


black looks Black Looks: Race & Representation by bell hooks. Boston. 1992. South End Press. 200 pages. Cover design by Julie Ault and G. Watkins.

 

Any bell hooks book is worth a read. In this collection of 12 essays hooks takes on popular music, advertising, literature, television, historical narrative, and film in an exploration of race, representation, and resistance. Should be required reading for the planet. Her perspective is fresh and stimulating and definitely against the grain.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   In these twelve new essays, feminist theorist and cultural critic bell hooks digs ever deeper into the personal and political consequences of contemporary representations of black women and men within our white supremacist culture. Taking on popular music, advertising, literature, television, historical narrative, and, most importantly, film, hooks consistently demonstrates the incisive intelligence and passion for justice that prompted Publishers Weekly to dub her 'one of the foremost black intellectuals in America today.'

 

hooks bell bell hooks is a writer and professor who speaks widely on issues of race, class, and gender. Her previous books include AIN'T I A WOMAN, FEMINIST THEORY, TALKING BACK, YEARNING, and most recently, with Cornel West, BREAKING BREAD: INSURGENT BLACK INTELLECTUAL LIFE.

 


day is born of darkness The Day Is Born Of Darkness by Mikhail Dyomin. New York. 1976. Knopf. Translated From the Russian By Tony Kahn. 371 pages. Jacket design by Lidia Ferrara. 0394491661. April 1976.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Mikhail Dyomin was only 16 when he went to jail for the first time, for evading a compulsory wartime work order. But it was the beginning for him of a 15-year career as a professional criminal, as an inhabitant of one of the strangest and least-known societies on the face of the earth - the Soviet underworld. This extraordinary first-person account of his life there - as a thief, as a convict, as a writer of prison ballads sung in camps from Magadan to the Aral Sea - is an authentic voice out of Russia's lower depths, brilliantly evocative of the color and violence that still lurk behind Communism's stolid gray facade, an engrossing tale of adventure, and probably the fullest picture yet given of life on the wrong side of the law in the Soviet Union. Here in riveting detail are the realities of outlaw existence: the battles in prison ; the tricks of housebreaking, con games, train robbery; the arcana of convict life, from instructions for making a deck of cards out of blood and bread, to tips on eating nettles. Here are the gypsy camps, the brothels and thieves' dens, the black markets and village fairs and long, lonely trains howling into the Asian night, the whole exotic rogue's-world of crime. And here are the characters Dyomin encountered, fought with, loved: Queen Margo, the sophisticated and monumentally connected Grande Dame of Crime; Saloma the Onanist, ultimate prison camp escapist; Khasan, the homicidal cardshark, with his court of cutthroat lovers; the author's deadly enemy Snuffles, whom he finally kills, and dozens more. Dyomin's first robbery, his attendance at the all-European Thieves' Conference in Lvov, his chilling run-in with political terrorists, his narrow escapes, murders, love affairs, imprisonments - adventure piled on adventure, and all recounted with the energy, style, and rolling pace of a born storyteller. THE DAY IS BORN OF DARKNESS ends with the author's discharge from a Siberian labor camp, his dream of becoming a published poet about to come true. Once on the outside, he went on to write five more books under the name Dyomin, becoming a popular and successful writer. In 1971, he quietly defected during a visit to Paris, where he now lives and writes.

 

 

Dyomin Mikhail Mikhail Dyomin has taken his writing name from the forged identity papers he was forced to use while in hiding within the Soviet criminal underground. He was born Georgy Trifonov in 1926. His mother belonged to the pre-revolutionary nobility; his father, a top Red Army commissar in the Civil War, fell into disfavor and was persecuted during the Stalinist era. Dyomin was first arrested in 1942, at the age of sixteen, for disobeying a compulsory work order. Sentenced to two years of hard labor in a Moscow foundry, he was finally given a medical discharge. He worked for a while as an advertising artist, until an office-wide investigation by the secret police sent him fleeing, without identity papers, into the underground. There he lived for several years, working with a pickpocket gang and 'riding the rails. ' After his arrest, he spent six years in some of the most notorious Arctic camps--as a member of the criminal elite--and during this time earned a name for himself as a 'scribbler' of prison songs and poems. Dyomin's first literary scholarship was earned upon his release from the Siberian camp, when his fellow inmates took up a collection to see him through his first book. In the fifteen years following his release, he published six books; he became a member of the Writers' Union and was by all measures a successful, popular author. Yet, he was dissatisfied with the restrictions imposed by state censorship, and during a visit to France some years ago, he quietly defected. He now lives in a small apartment in Paris, where he continues to write.


egyptologists The Egyptologists by Kingsley Amis and Robert Conquest. New York. 1966. Random House. 247 pages.

 

A very funny story about male subterfuge and the war between the sexes, precisely the kind of story that Kingsley Amis, this time with the help of Robert Conquest, tells so well. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Every Thursday night in certain parts of London, husbands kiss their wives and then hurry off to attend the weekly meeting of a certain exclusive learned society. Jekyll-like, these men shed their air of scholarly absorption as they near headquarters-a building situated at a specially selected hard-to-find address, where a plaque, inscribed in specially designed hard-to-decipher lettering, reads: METROPOLITAN EGYPTOLOGICAL SOCIETY. Should the reader be at first in some doubt as to the real nature of the activities of the Egyptologists, it is only to be expected. The members' expertise in camouflage and deception has baffled the most perceptive people, and at various times the Society has been suspected of engaging in espionage, in drug-smuggling, in the activity implied by its all-male membership-and even in Egyptology. Why does the Society protect itself so vigilantly against inquiring outsiders? What is the significance of the safeguards listed in Article 22 of its Constitution? And what goes on behind the locked doors of its Isis Room? Hint: if even a fraction of the lecherous males of the world adopted the brilliant masquerade conceived by the authors in this engaging farce, learned societies would proliferate by the thousands.

 

 

Amis Kingsley Kingsley Amis, born in London in 1922, was educated at the City of London School and St. John's College, Oxford. During World II he was a lieutenant in the Royal Corps of Signals. From 1949 to 1961 he was Lecturer in English at various universities in Great Britain, and also fulfilled an appointment as Visiting Lecturer at Princeton in 1958-59. Mr. Amis won immediate attention with his first novel, Lucky Jim, and has since written four others, as well as a collection of short stories, two books of poetry and a critical survey of science fiction.

 

 

 

 

Conquest Robert Born in 1917, Robert Conquest was educated at Winchester and Oxford, served in a line regiment in World War II and afterward in the British Diplomatic Service, Since 1956 he has interspersed free-lance writing with academic appointments at the London School of Economics and the Columbia University Russian Institute, among others, He has also been the Literary Editor of the Spectator. Mr. Conquest is the author of two books of poems, a science-fiction novel, five works of Soviet political and literary themes, and, with Kingsley Amis, has edited the science-fiction 'Spectrum' anthologies.

 

 


politics of heroin in southeast asia The Politics Of Heroin In Southeast Asia by Alfred W. McCoy. New York. 1972. Harper & Row. 464 pages. Jacket design by Apteryx Studio. 0060129018.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   An exhaustive history that traces the growing, processing, transporting, and distribution of narcotics since the end of World War II. A landmark book of investigative reporting and history. The fabled Golden Triangle, where Laos, Thailand, and Burma meet, long a traditional opium-growing area, now provides 70 percent of the world's illicit supply of heroin. And many elements in the governments of these countries, and in the government of South Vietnam - most of which are supported by U. S. military and financial aid - are deeply (and lucratively) involved in the growing, processing, transport, and distribution of narcotics. How has this situation come about? Basing their narrative on firsthand research in Asia and Europe, the authors trace the whole story since the end of World War II. They demonstrate that during the First Indochina War (1946-1954) the security of Saigon and its environs and the loyalty of the hill tribes depended on profits from and some protection for the opium traffic. Similarly, it became necessary for the United States, when it took over the French commitment in 1954, to look the other way in the matter of the involvement in the drug traffic of succeeding Vietnamese regimes. After Diem's downfall in 1963 it became apparent that money from the rackets--especially narcotics--was vital to any regime's survival.    The authors found that in Laos, opium crops found their way from the hill villages into a secret base at Long Tieng; in Burma, the CIA financed remnants of Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Army, which later became self-supporting by taking over 90 pecent of the opium shipments from the rebel Shan States of Burma; that in Thailand, shaky regimes relied on American support and opium money to help bolster their stability. They also found that the Mafia, working through Corsican criminal syndicates from Marseille, had established outposts in Southeast Asia for its international narcotics smuggling operations during the French occupation. In spite of recent well-publicized seizures of massive shipments of heroin from Southeast Asia, heroin continues to flood the country, spreading into every level of this society and shredding the fabric of everyday life. U. S. government estimates of the number of addicts has leaped from 315,000 in 1969 to over 560,000 in 1972. This book puts all the pieces of this ghastly puzzle together, and then maps the possible avenues out of the horror, suggesting that America may have to choose between our commitments in Southeast Asia and getting heroin out of our high schools. In 1971, at the age of twenty-five, Alfred W. McCoy set out on an eighteen-month trip to Europe and Asia to investigate the global heroin trade. The resultant book, THE POLITICS OF HERON IN SOUTHEAST ASIA, brought him international recognition as a groundbreaking theorist of the politics and economics of drug trafficking. Its publication also embroiled him in a controversy with the Central Intelligence Agency Incensed by McCoy's charges that the agency had covered up the involvement of our Indochinese allies in heroin trafficking and had itself participated in aspects of the drug trade, the CIA tried to suppress the book before its release. Twenty years of research have led to this revised and updated edition of McCoy's classic. In it, he concludes that, with global production and consumption of narcotics at record levels and heroin use in America on the rise, it is time to confront the failure of the U. S. government's drug policy. 'Driven by a myopic moralism' since the legal sale of narcotics was banned in the early 1920s, U. S. policymakers, McCoy observes, have refused to recognize that their repression of the drug trade has only served to make it grow. Now dispersed across continents as a result of prohibition, the illicit drug trade is more resistant to suppression than ever before. The heroin problem will worsen, according to McCoy, until the U. S. government also puts an end to the CIA's involvement in the narcotics trade, which since World War II has been an integral part of the agency's efforts to maintain U. S. power abroad. If Congress had imposed restraints on CIA covert operations two decades ago, McCoy argues, it 'might have prevented the agency's complicity in the disastrous cocaine and heroin epidemics of the 1980s. This remarkable expose of official U. S. hypocrisy in its approaches to one of the world's greatest social problems offers an analysis that is destined to influence the public debate on drugs for years to come.

 

 

 

McCoy Alfred W Alfred W. McCoy is professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Educated at Columbia, the University of California at Berkeley, and Yale, he has spent the past twenty years writing about the politics and history of Southeast Asia. He is the author of several books on the Philippines, one of which won the country's National Book Award, and the editor of Southeast Asia Under Japanese Occupation. An internationally recognized expert on drug trafficking and organized crime, he is also the author of DRUG TRAFFIC: NARCOTICS AND ORGANIZED CRIME IN AUSTRALIA.

Cathleen B. Read is studying for a Ph. D. in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University.

Leonard P. Adams II has published several scholarly articles and is a Ph. D. candidate in Chinese history at Yale University. A landmark book of investigative reporting and history.

Check zenosbooks.com for either a used or a new copy of this book, or you can add it to your wishlist.


hard facts of the grimms fairy tales The Hard Facts Of The Grimms' Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar. Princeton. 1987. Princeton University Press. 278 pages. Cover illustration - Snow White. From 'Sneewittchen. Ein Kinder-Marchen mit 17 Bildern, illustrated by Theodore Hosemann (Berlin - Winckelmann, 1847). 0691067228.

 

From one of the most interesting writers on folklore around, a look at the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tales in their uncensored form tracing their transformation from adult reading material to the watered-down tales that many of us first heard as children.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   A look at the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tales in their uncensored form tracing their transformation from adult reading material to the watered-down tales that many of us first heard as children. Even those who remember that Snow White's stepmother arranges the murder of her stepdaughter, that doves peck out the eyes of Cinderella's stepsisters, that Briar Rose's suitors bleed to death on the hedge surrounding her castle, or that a mad rage drives Rumpelstiltskin to tear himself in two will be surprised by Maria Tatar's revelations about the tales of the brothers Grimm in their unexpurgated form. Murder, mutilation, cannibalism, infanticide, and incest: the darker side of classic fairy tales figures as the subject matter for this intriguing study of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's Nursery and Household Tales. Although children never have much trouble accepting the hard facts of the bedtime stories in this collection, adults have often found it difficult to come to terms with their sensationalistic content. Bruno Bettelheim has taught us to look for deeper symbolic meanings in the violence of fairy tales. Now Professor Tatar skillfully employs the tools not only of the psychoanalyst but also of the folklorist, literary critic, and historian to examine the harsher aspects of the stories gathered by the Grimms. Few books have been written in English on the tales collected by the Grimms, and none has probed their allegedly happy endings so thoroughly. From a first chapter on 'Sex and Violence' to an epilogue entitled 'Getting Even,' the author presents an entirely new interpretation of this best-selling of all German books. She focuses above all on the wishes for revenge that drive the heroes and heroines of the Grimms' tales. In transforming folk materials that once served as adult entertainment into children's reading matter, the Grimms may have suppressed episodes touching on sexual matters, but they often embellished descriptions of cruelty, especially when it took the form of revenge. For Professor Tatar violent family conflicts, the pitting of the weak against the strong, and universal fantasies of retaliation are keys to the enduring popularity of the Grimms' stories. 'Tatar seeks to reexamine the Grimms' tales by combining methods from psychology, structuralism, folklore, and social history. She has a fine ability to bring together research in the field and to conceive new interpretations. The book is eminently readable and will certainly help the general reader to reassess the Grimms' tales. ' - JACK ZIPES, University of Florida.

 

 

 

Tatar Maria MARIA TATAR is Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is the author of SPELLBOUND: STUDIES ON MESMERISM AND LITERATURE (Princeton).

 

 

 

 

 

 


lucky jim Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis. Garden City. 1954. Doubleday. 256 pages. Jacket art by Edward Gorey.

 

Jim is barely hanging on to his job at a small English university, and if he can't successfully suck up to the head of his department, he has no chance at all of staying employed. It doesn't help that he gets drunk, speaks his mind, and antagonizes all of the wrong people. One of the funniest books I have ever read!

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Jim Dixon was one of those hapless individuals who bumble through life tripping over their own good intentions, As he caromed from fiasco to triumph to cataclysm, he was sustamed only by his rare talent for creating a Face to suit every occasion. grimaces like his Mad- Peasant face or the Shot-in-the-Back face, smirks like the Evelyn Waugh or Sex-Life-in-Ancient-Rome. Jim held tenuously to a probationary instructorship at a small English university and his hopes for reappointment lay solely in his ability to butter up Professor Welch, the odious and vapid head of his department. Lurking like a neurotic thundercloud on Jim's already hazy horizon was Margaret Peel, a young woman of scant charm and suicidal tendencies, who was being harbored at the home of Professor Welch while convalescing from a surfeit of sleeping tablets taken in pique. As part of his hysterical campaign of apple polishing Jim accepted an invitation to one of Professor Welch's artistic week ends, After a French-play-reading, recorder-playing, madrigal-singing evening with a group of local intellectuals that included the professor's painter son, Bertrand, poor Jim sought sanctuary at a nearby pub. Closing time found him launched on a monumental binge, the results of which were an inconclusive but spirited attack on Margaret's virtue, an incendiary episode with his bedclothes, the formation of a new and delightfully surprising alliance with Christine Callaghan, the bearded Bertrand's current inamorata. From this point on the plot begins to congeal, with Jim caught like a shrimp in the aspic. Kingsley Amis, who wrote LUCKY JIM, has a rare wit that teeters between the hilariously nonsensical and the deeply serious, This delightful-if often quite mad-novel is his first.

 

 

Amis Kingsley Kingsley Amis was born in South London in 1922 and was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Oxford, of which he is an Honorary Fellow. Between 1949 and 1963 he taught at the University College of Swansea, Princeton University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. He started his career as a poet and has continued to write in that medium ever since. His novels include LUCKY JIM (1954). TAKE A GIRL LIKE YOU (1960), THE ANTI-DEATH LEAGUE (1966), ENDING UP (1974), THE ALTERATION (1976), JAKE’S THING (1978) and STANLEY AND THE WOMEN (1984). His novel, THE OLD DEVILS, won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1986. Among his other publications are NEW MAPS OF HELL, a survey of science fiction (1960), RUDYARD KIPLING AND HIS WORLD (1975) and THE GOLDEN AGE OF SCIENCE FICTION (1981). He published his COLLECTED POEMS in 1979, and has also edited THE NEW OXFORD BOOK OF LIGHT VERSE and THE FABER POPULAR RECITER. Kingsley Amis was awarded the CBE in 1981.

 


 

 

0805076530 Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story Of Britain's Gulag in Kenya by Caroline Elkins. New York. 2005. Henry Holt. 477 pages. Jacket photograph - PopperfotolRetrofile.com. Jacket design by John Candell. 0805076530.

 

Until fairly recently this story of the brutality exacted on the Kenyan population, particularly the Kikuyus, by the colonial Kenyan government with the knowledge and approval of the British Foreign Office was not common knowledge. Caroline Elkins' book corrects this historical neglect and puts the resistance of the Kenyan people in in its proper context.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   For decades Western imperialists have waged wars and destroyed local populations in the name of civilization and democracy. From 1952 to 1960, after a violent uprising by native Kenyans, the British detained and brutalized hundreds of thousands of Kikuyu - the colony's largest ethnic group - who had demanded their independence. In the eyes of the British colonizers, the men and women who fought in the insurgency - Mau Mau as it was then called - weren't freedom fighters but rather savages of the lowest order. The British felt justified, in the name of civilization, in crushing those who challenged colonial rule, even if it meant violating their basic human rights. Later, to cover up this stain on its past, the British government ordered all documentation relating to detention and torture during its last days of rule in Kenya destroyed. In a groundbreaking debut, Harvard historian Caroline Elkins has recovered the lost history of the last days of British colonialism in Kenya. In a compelling narrative that draws upon nearly a decade of painstaking research - including hundreds of interviews with Kikuyu detention camp survivors and their captors - Elkins reveals for the first time what Britain so desperately tried to hide. In the aftermath of World War II and the triumph of liberal democracy over fascism, the British detained nearly the entire Kikuyu population - some one and a half million people - for more than eight years. Inside detention camps and barbed-wire villages, the Kikuyu lived in a world of fear, hunger, and death. Their only hope for survival was a full denunciation of their anti-British beliefs. IMPERIAL RECKONING is history of the highest order: meticulously researched, brilliantly written, and powerfully dramatic. An unforgettable act of historical re-creation, it is also a disturbing reminder of the brutal imperial precedents that continue to inform Western nations in their drive to democratize the world. 'IMPERIAL RECKONINGS is an incredible piece of historical sleuthing. The author has reconstructed the story that British officialdom almost succeeded in suppressing. Her sources are the Mau Mau fighters and sympathizers whom the British detained in concentration camps during the 1950s. Her interviews with the survivors of this British 'gulag' are a labor of love and courage - impressive in their frankness and deep emotional content as well as properly balanced between men and women, colonial officials, and Mau Mau detainees. Caroline Elkins tells a story that would never have made it into the historical record had she not persevered and collected information from the last generation of Mau Mau detainees alive to bear witness to what happened. ' - ROBERT TIGNOR, Rosengarten Professor Of Modern And Contemporary History, Princeton University. 'Caroline Eikins has written an important book that can change our understanding not just of Africa but of ourselves. Through exhaustive research in neglected colonial archives and intrepid reporting among long-forgotten Kikuyu elders in Kenya's Rift Valley, Eikins has documented not just the true scale of a huge and harrowing crime--Britain's ruthless suppression of the Mau Mau rebellion - but also the equally shocking concealment of that crime and the inversion of historical memory. ' - BULL BERKELEY, Author Of THE GRAVES ARE NOR YET FULL: RACE, TRIBE AND POWER IN THE HEART OF AFRICA.

 

 

 

Elkins Caroline CAROLINE ELKINS is an assistant professor of history at Harvard University. Her research in various aspects of the late colonial period in Africa has won numerous awards, including the Fulbright and Andrew W. Mellon fellowships, as well as a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She and her work were the subjects of a BBC documentary entitled Kenya: White Terror. This is her first book.


9780195385564 Why This World: A Biography Of Clarice Lispector by Benjamin Moser. New York/Oxford. 2009. Oxford University Press. 479 pages. Jacket design by Carol Devine Carson. Jacket photo - Clarice Lispector in Washington, ca. 1954. 9780195385564.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   That rare person who looked like Marlene Dietrich and wrote like Virginia Woolf, Clarice Lispector is one of the most popular but least understood of Latin American writers. Now, after years of research on three continents, drawing on previously unknown manuscripts and dozens of interviews, Benjamin Moser demonstrates how Lispector's art was directly connected to her turbulent life. Born amidst the horrors of post-World War I Ukraine, Clarice's beauty, genius, and eccentricity intrigued Brazil virtually from her adolescence. Why This World tells how this precocious girl, through long exile abroad and difficult personal struggles, matured into a great writer, and asserts, for the first time, the deep roots in the Jewish mystical tradition that make her both the heir to Kafka and the unlikely author of ‘perhaps the greatest spiritual autobiography of the twentieth century.’ From Ukraine to Recife, from Naples and Berne to Washington and Rio de Janeiro, Why This World shows how Clarice Lispector transformed one woman's struggles into a universally resonant art.

 

 

Moser Benjamin Benjamin Moser (September 14, 1976) is an American writer who lives in Utrecht, Netherlands. Born in Houston, Moser attended high school in Texas and France before graduating from Brown University with a degree in History. He briefly studied Chinese and Portuguese. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Utrecht University. He is the New Books Columnist for Harper's Magazine, a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, and the author of a biography of the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector titled Why This World. He discovered the books of Clarice Lispector while studying Portuguese-language literature. He has published translations from the Dutch, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. He speaks six languages in addition to these. He lives with Arthur Japin (a Dutch writer). 

 

9780813049694 Mary Ann Carroll: First Lady of the Highwaymen by Gary Monroe. Gainesville. University Press of Florida. hardcover. 192 pages. September 2014. 8 x 10. 9780813049694.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   Beach scenes on hotel walls, Poinciana trees in the White House. ‘Here, Monroe tells perhaps his most compelling tale of all—about the only Highwaywoman, Mary Ann Carroll ‘ —Jeff Klinkenberg, author of Alligators in B-Flat. ‘A tale of triumph, personal survival, discipline, and, finally, of faith ‘—Linda Hudson, mayor, Fort Pierce, Florida. In the years since the art world discovered them, much has been made of the Highwaymen—the loosely knit band of African American painters whose edenic Florida land scapes, created with inexpensive materials and sold out of their cars, ‘shaped the state’s popular image as much as oranges and alligators’ (New York Times) But lost in the legends surrounding the group is the mesmerizing story of Mary Ann Carroll, the only female ‘Highwayman ‘ In 1957, sixteen-year-old Carroll met Harold Newton, later dubbed the original Highwayman He had red flames on his car and was painting a landscape along the side of the road The young African American girl was shocked: here was a black man who didn’t work in the orange groves, who made a living off his paintings It wasn’t long before she was creating and selling her own landscapes, and the other Highwaymen, taking note of her startling use of color, welcomed her into the fold Carroll sold her first painting at eighteen - remarkable for any young artist, unheard of for a black woman artist in the South Like her Highwaymen brethren, she travelled across the state, selling her art at hotels, offices, and restaurants where she was not allowed to drink, eat, or even sit If the Highwaymen faced discrimination at every door they knocked on, then the challenges were magnified for Carroll She took pride in always having her pristine Buick gassed and ready to go and her small handgun cleaned and ready to use After years of virtual obscurity, Carroll was invited to the First Lady’s Luncheon in 2011, where she presented a painting of her iconic poinciana to Michelle Obama Mary Ann Carroll is the never-before-told story of a black female artist’s hard- fought journey to feed her family and make a name for herself in a man’s world.

 

 

 

Monroe Gary GARY MONROE, professor of fine arts and photography at Daytona State College, is the author of numerous books, including The Highwaymen: Florida’s African-American Landscape Painters, The Highwaymen Murals: Al Black’s Concrete Dreams, and Harold Newton: The Original Highwayman Harold Newton The Highwaymen The Original Highwayman.

 

 

1859847633The Business Of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing & Changed The Way We Read by Andre Schiffrin. New York. 2000. Verso. hardcover. 181 pages. 1859847633.

 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

 

   Postwar American publishing has been ruthlessly transformed since André Schiffrin joined its ranks in 1956. Gone is a plethora of small but prestigious houses that often put ideas before profit in their publishing decisions, sometimes even deliberately. Now six behemoths share 80% of the market and profit margin is all. André Schiffrin can write about these changes with authority because he witnessed them from inside a conglomerate, as head of Pantheon, co-founded by his father bought (and sold) by Random House. And he can write about them with candor because he is no longer on the inside, having quit corporate publishing in disgust to setup a flourishing independent house, the New Press. Schiffrin’s evident affection for his authors sparkles throughout a story woven around publishing the work of those such as Studs Terkel, Noam Chomsky, Gunnar Myrdal, George Kennan, Juliet Mitchell, R.D.Laing, Eric Hobsbawm and E.P. Thompson. Part-memoir, part-history, here is an account of the collapsing standards of contemporary publishing that is irascible, acute and passionate. An engaging counterpoint to recent, celebratory memoirs of the industry written by those with more stock options and fewer scruples than Schiffrin, The Business of Books warns of the danger to adventurous, intelligent publishing in the bullring of today’s marketplace.

 

 

Schiffrin Andre André Schiffrin was, for thirty years, Publisher at Pantheon. He was also the Director of the New Press, which he founded in 1993. He contributed a regular column on publishing to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

christianity at glacier helgafell 1972 Christianity at Glacier by Halldor Laxness. Reykjavik. 1972. Helgafell. Translated from the Icelandic by Magnus Magnusson. 268 pages.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

   A youthful emissary of the Bishop of Iceland goes to the beautiful and mysterious district under Glacier to investigate the local state of Christianity and the puzzling affairs of the pastor. The story is the young man's report to the bishop about some extraordinary happenings at Glacier and the remarkable characters whom he encounters during his investigations. - In this strange region all accepted distinctions between past and present, the natural and the supernatural seem at times to disappear. Pastor Jon Primus, the delinquent minister, turns out to be, among other things, a kind of holy man, with a mind that is highly elusive to the young academician. Completely neglectful of the formalities of his office, he is the parish jack-of-all-trades who repairs primitive utensils and shoes horses for all corners. Pastor Jon has a profound respect for life on earth and none at all for theory and philosophy which he describes as so many fables. As to theology, he will typically ask you to consider the lilies of the field. His capacity for destroying a logical argument is unsurpassed. Yet he has a worthy antagonist in the friend of his youth. Gudmundur Sigmundsson, now Dr. Godman Syngmann, the great guru, cosmopolitan engineer. super-businessman. angler and cosmobiologist extraordinary whose appearance at Glacier adds greatly to the confusion of the young man's mission. And finally There is Ua, the lady whose mysterious presence pervades the story: Who is she? The pastor's bride who ran away a long time ago with Dr. Synqmann? A former nun? The erstwhile madam of a sporting house in Buenos Aires? An ‘old-fashioned witch'?. A ghost? The mythical Bitch Goddess herself? Dr. Syndmann's scientifically produced re-incarnation? For some time shells very much a real woman. And then, at the end, she vanishes, mockingly, with the elusiveness of life itself. CHRISTIANITY AT GLACIER is a highly complex work, and Mr. Laxness has rarely been more entertaining and brilliantly inventive. From one point of view, it is a strangely timeless fable of modern times. It is also a novel of great philosophical and theological wit, set against a magically invoked background of nature.

 

 

Laxness Halldor Halldor Laxness was born near Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1902. His first novel was published when he wsa seventeen. The undisputed master of contemporary Icelandic fiction, and one of the outstanding novelists of the century, he has written more than sixty books, including novels, short stories, essays, poems, plays, and memoirs. In 1955 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He died in 1998. 

 

confessions of zeno knopf Confessions Of Zeno by Italo Svevo. New York. 1930. Knopf. Translated From the Italian By Beryl De Zoete. 407 pages

 

My favorite book of all time. I have read this book many times over the years and each time I come away with something new. The original American translation of the book done by Beryl De Zoete and published in 1930, has held up well over the years I think. William Weaver published a translation in 2001. I started it but did not get very far. A translation By Dalya M. Sachs was comissioned by Northwestern Unversity Press to be published in 2002, but was withdrawn from publication due reportedly to some sort of copyright issue. That edition featured a lot of annotations and could be very interesting should it ever actually wind up being published. For the time being I think that I will stick to my Beryl De Zoete translation. 

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

   

   This is the great modern Italian novel. It is supremely ironical and deals with a delightfully abnormal character. Zeno, happily unconscious of his absurdity, writes an account of his eccentric and entertaining life for a psychoanalyst. He proposes to three sisters in the same evening and is accepted by the least attractive. He rationalizes his relations with his mistress by saying she would not love him, if she knew how much he loved his wife. Incidentally, he never loves his wife as much as when he is with his mistress. He entirely covers the walls of a room with dates, some scribbled in pencil, some painted in glaring colors, each representing the day of his final renunciation of cigarettes. Zeno, accomplished hypochondriac and master of indecision, suffers increasingly from the narcotic effect of his continual introspection, but is so essentially human that he will capture your sympathy and make you laugh, first at him and then at yourself.

 

 

Svevo Italo ITALO SVEVO was born in Trieste in 1861 and was given a commercial education in Germany. CONFESSIONS OF ZENO was published in 1923 and was immediately hailed by European critics as the finest Italian novel. At the time of his accidental death in 1928 Svevo was one of the best known and most successful businessmen in Triesie, though he was only beginning to enjoy fame as a writer. UNA VITA, his first novel, appeared in 1892 and was followed by SENILITA in 1898. In 1912 Italo Svevo met James Joyce, and it is Joyce that we have to thank, not only for calling attention to him at that time, but for persuading him to continue writing. The war kept Svevo away from business and gave him the opportunity. The fact that writing was never his means of livelihood made it possible for him to disregard tradition and slowly develop his own introspective style. This style combined with his wholly individual humor makes CONFESSIONS OF ZENO most unusual and engaging.  

 

 

 

de Zoete Beryl Beryl de Zoete was an English ballet dancer, orientalist, and critic. In addition to being a translator of Italo Svevo, she was an innovator in the field of dance. She taught eurhythmics, investigated Indian dance and theatre traditions, and collaborated with Walter Speis on Dance and Drama in Bali. An early marriage to Basil de Selincourt broke down. She then cohabited for many years with Arthur Waley, the noted translator of Chinese classics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


0195160282 Thinking It Through: An Introduction To Contemporary Philosophy by Kwame Anthony Appiah. Oxford/New York. 2003. Oxford University Press. 412 pages. Jacket design by Mary Belibasakis. 0195160282.

 

Kwame Anthony Appiah is one of our most articulate public intellectuals. This book provides a clearly-written and jargon-free introduction to modern philosophy.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER -

 

THINKING IT THROUGH is a thorough, vividly written introduction to contemporary philosophy and some of the most crucial questions of human existence, including the nature of mind and knowledge, the status of moral claims, the existence of God, the role of science, and the mysteries of language. Noted philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah shows us what it means to 'do' philosophy in our time and why it should matter to anyone who wishes to live a more thoughtful life. Opposing the common misconceptions that being a philosopher means espousing a set of philosophical beliefs--or being a follower of a particular thinker--Appiah argues that 'the result of philosophical exploration is not the end of inquiry in a settled opinion, but a mind resting more comfortably among many possibilities, or else the reframing of the question, and a new inquiry. ' Ideal for introductory philosophy courses, THINKING IT THROUGH is organized around eight central topics--mind, knowledge, language, science, morality, politics, law, and metaphysics. It traces how philosophers in the past have considered each subject and then explores some of the major questions that still engage philosophers today. More importantly, Appiah not only explains what philosophers have thought but how they think, giving students examples that they can use in their own attempts to navigate the complex issues confronting any reflective person in the twenty-first century. Filled with concrete examples of how philosophers work, THINKING IT THROUGH guides students through the process of philosophical reflection and enlarges their understanding of the central questions of human life. REVIEWS - 'The distinguishing mark of this work, which will set it clearly apart from all the best introductory books of this kind, is the way it makes deep and insightful connections among the various topics. It introduces the reader to all the main problems of contemporary philosophy, and makes philosophical concepts come alive in systematic exploration of the deep thoughts and difficult arguments to which Appiah gives lucid access. '--Neil Tennant, The Ohio State University. 'An extraordinarily successful introduction to philosophy: wise, witty and deeply engaging. '--Paul Boghossian, New York University. 'This book is excellent, one of the best of its kind that I've seen. It accomplishes what few general introductions to philosophy even attempt: to integrate contemporary discussion and argument into a treatment of our perennial problems without losing sight of their roots. '--David Sosa, University of Texas at Austin.

 

 

 

Appiah Kwame Anthony Kwame Anthony Akroma-Ampim Kusi Appiah was born in London but moved as an infant to Ghana, where he grew up. His father, Joseph Emmanuel Appiah, a lawyer and politician, was also, at various times, a Member of Parliament, an Ambassador and a President of the Ghana Bar Association; his mother, the novelist and children's writer, Peggy Appiah, whose family was English, was active in the social, philanthropic and cultural life of Kumasi, where they lived. His three younger sisters Isobel, Adwoa and Abena, were born in Ghana. As a child, he spent a good deal of time in England, staying with his grandmother, Dame Isobel Cripps, widow of the English statesman Sir Stafford Cripps. Kwame Appiah was educated at the University Primary School at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi; at Ullenwood Manor, in Gloucestershire, and Port Regis and Bryanston Schools, in Dorset; and, finally, at Clare College, Cambridge University, in England, where he took both B. A. and Ph. D. degrees in the philosophy department. His Cambridge dissertation explored the foundations of probabilistic semantics; once revised, these arguments were published by Cambridge University Press as Assertion and Conditionals. Out of that first monograph grew a second book, For Truth in Semantics, which dealt with Michael Dummett's defenses of semantic anti-realism. Since Cambridge, he has taught at Yale, Cornell, Duke, and Harvard universities and lectured at many other institutions in the United States, Germany, Ghana and South Africa, as well as at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris; and he is now a member of the Princeton University faculty, where he is a member of the Philosophy Department and the University Center for Human Values. Professor Appiah has also published widely in African and African-American literary and cultural studies. In 1992, Oxford University Press published In My Father's House, which deals, in part, with the role of African and African-American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African cultural life. His current interests range over African and African-American intellectual history and literary studies, ethics and philosophy of mind and language; and he has also taught regularly about African traditional religions; but his major current work has to do with the philosophical foundations of liberalism and with questions of method in arriving at knowledge about values. Professor Appiah joined the Princeton faculty in 2002 as Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy and the University Center for Human Values. In 1996, he published Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race with Amy Gutmann; in 1997 the Dictionary of Global Culture, co-edited with Henry Louis Gates Jr. Along with Professor Gates he has also edited the Encarta Africana CD-ROM encyclopedia, published by Microsoft, which became the Perseus Africana encyclopedia in book form. This is now available in a revised multi-volume edition from Oxford University Press. In 2003, he coauthored Bu Me B?: Proverbs of the Akan, an annotated edition of 7,500 proverbs in Twi, the language of Asante. He is also the author of three novels, of which the first, Avenging Angel, was largely set at Clare College, Cambridge, and he reviews regulalry for the New York Review of Books. In 2004, Oxford University Press published his introduction to contemporary philosophy entitled Thinking It Through. In January 2005, Princeton University Press published The Ethics of Identity and in February 2006 Norton published Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers, which won the 2007 Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations. In January 2008, Harvard University Press will publish his Experiments in Ethics, based on his 2005 Flexner lectures at Bryn Mawr. Professor Appiah has homes in New York city and near Pennington, in New Jersey, which he shares with his partner, Henry Finder, Editorial Director of the New Yorker magazine. In 2007, he is the President of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association and he will take on the task of Chairing the Executive Board of the American Philosophical Association in 2008. He is also currently Chair of the Board of the American Council of Learned Societies.


 

epitaph of a small winner noonday Epitaph Of A Small Winner by Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis. New York. 1952. Noonday Press. Drawings by Shari Frisch. Translated from the Portuguese by William L. Grossman. 223 pages. Cover: Shari Frisch. (original title: Memorias postumas de Bras Cubas).

 

THE POSTHUMOUS MEMOIRS OF BRAS CUBAS by Joaquim Maria Machado De Assis, also translated as EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER, is a Brazilian classic. The narrator of the story is Bras Cubas, who unfortunately for him, is now dead. That does not stop him though from telling his story.

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER –

 

Funny and profound are these reflections and musings of a man from beyond the grave. Satirical, witty, completely human in feeling, EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER is that rarest of works, a book which is at the same time both profound and thoroughly delightful. It tells the story of Braz Cubas, a wealthy Carioca, or rather it is Braz, now dead, who tells his story. For EPITAPH OF A SMALL WINNER is a posthumous memoir, the memories of a ghost, a man who now beyond life can view it with dispassion - the illicit love affairs, the political ambitions, the jealousies and hatreds which comprised his sixty-four years. But though the grave has given Braz distance, it has not dampened his sense of humor. On the contrary, it has sharpened it; Braz Cubas is certainly the wittiest ghost in literature. Most ghosts take themselves far too seriously; but not Braz. If he has returned to haunt mankind, it is by means of laughter. He is the spirit of satire moving among us, pointing out our idiosyncrasies and foibles. 'Machado de Assis, son of a poor mulatto of Rio, became the most illustrious of Brazilian writers. His work brings to mind at once Anatole France and Lawrence Sterne, yet is nonetheless original. ' - Andre Maurois. 'A master of psychology and of an ironic brand of humour.' Samuel Putnam. 

 

 

Assis Joaquim Maria Machado De Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, often known as Machado de Assis, Machado, or Bruxo do Cosme Velho, (June 21, 1839, Rio de Janeiro-September 29, 1908, Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian novelist, poet and short-story writer. He is widely regarded as the most important writer of Brazilian literature. However, he did not gain widespread popularity outside Brazil in his own lifetime. Machado's works had a great influence on Brazilian literary schools of the late 19th century and 20th century. Jose Saramago, Carlos Fuentes, Susan Sontag and Harold Bloom are among his admirers and Bloom calls him 'the supreme black literary artist to date. ' Son of Francisco Jose de Assis (a mulatto housepainter, descendent of freed slaves) and Maria Leopoldina Machado de Assis (a Portuguese washerwoman), Machado de Assis lost both his mother and his only sister at an early age. Machado is said to have learned to write by himself, and he used to take classes for free will. He learned to speak French first and English later, both fluently. He started to work for newspapers in Rio de Janeiro, where he published his first works and met established writers such as Joaquim Manuel de Macedo. Machado de Assis married Carolina Xavier de Novais, a Portuguese descendant of a noble family. Soon the writer got a public job and this stability permitted him to write his best works. Machado de Assis began by writing popular novels which sold well, much in the late style of Jose de Alencar. His style changed in the 1880s, and it is for the sceptical, ironic, comedic but ultimately pessimistic works he wrote after this that he is remembered: the first novel in his 'new style' was Epitaph for a Small Winner, known in the new Gregory Rabassa translation as The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (a literal translation of the original title, Memorias Postumas de Bras Cubas). In their brilliant comedy and ironic playfulness, these resemble in some ways the contemporary works of George Meredith in the United Kingdom, and Eca de Queiros in Portugal, but Machado de Assis' work has a far bleaker emotional undertone. Machado's work has also been compared with Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy. Machado de Assis could speak English fluently and translated many works of William Shakespeare and other English writers into Portuguese. His work contains numerous allusions to Shakespearean plays, John Milton and influences from Sterne and Meredith. He is also known as a master of the short story, having written classics of the genre in the Portuguese language, such as O Alienista, Missa do Galo, 'A Cartomante' and 'A Igreja do Diabo. ' Along with other writers and intellectuals, Machado de Assis founded the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1896 and was its president from 1897 to 1908, when he died. The translator, Dr. William L. Grossman, is of all things an authority on transportation law and economics. Called to Brazil in 1948 as head of the economics department of a Brazilian college, he learned Portuguese, and, fascinated by the works of Machado de Assis, spent his academic holidays translating Epitaph of a Small Winner. Dr. Grossman has returned to this country as a transportation consultant and professor at New York University.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Neglected Books Page

22 July 2019

www.NeglectedBooks.com: Where forgotten books are remembered
  • Chapters 1 and 2 from In Our Metropolis, by Phyllis Livingstone (1940)

    Back in March, I posted a short item about two forgotten novels I’d come across in an advertisement in the Times Literary Supplement. Neither received much attention and both quickly disappeared from sight. I was interested in knowing more about both books, so when I had the chance to visit the British Library for a... Read more

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  • Businessmen as Lovers, by Rosemary Tonks (1969)

    Businessmen as Lovers was Rosemary Tonks’ fourth novel and, to be honest, the first in which she seems to relax and not be relentlessly straining to be clever. It’s her only novel not set in London: the whole story takes place on a train through France and an island off Italy, and perhaps the setting... Read more

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  • Actors and Directors: Two Anecdotes from Letters from an Actor, by William Redfield (1967)

    Ralph Richardson and Basil Dean Some thirty years ago, Richardson was rehearsing a play directed by Basil Dean. The latter was the last of the old-time directors on the British side of the Atlantic. By “old-time,” I mean abusive, cruel, sarcastic, and contemptuous of actors. His American equivalent, albeit far younger, would be Jed Harris.... ...

  • Letters from an Actor, by William Redfield (1967)

    In 1964, Sir John Gielgud convinced Richard Burton to star in a Broadway production of Hamlet. Still smoking hot from his big-screen romance with Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra, Burton was looking to solidify his street cred as a serious actor after a few Hollywood duds. Gielgud’s motivation is a little less clear, as gradually becomes... Read more

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  • The Long Sunday, by Peter Fletcher (1958)

    Church, prayer, going to Sunday services and weekday evening meetings remains the center of life for some families and communities. One hundred years ago, they were the frameworks of the rituals and values of many English people, particularly those of the class of shopkeepers and lesser professions. Each denomination and sect identified itself through its... Read

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  • The Fire Escape, by Susan Kale (1960)

    The paperback editions of The Fire Escape trumpet its message: “The tragic, unvarnished story of a prostitute.” Which is a bit like plastering the banner line, “The Story of a Cockroach” across the cover of The Metamorphosis: yes, well, I guess you could say it is, but that’s actually missing the point in a pretty... Read more

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  • Blitz Writing: Night Shift and It Was Different at the Time, by Inez Holden (2019)

    As a rule, I don’t cover in print books on this site: the fact that a book is in print is proof that it may be underappreciated, but it’s certainly not forgotten. However, I have to make an exception in the case of the Handheld Press’s recent release of two of Inez Holden’s three books... Read more

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  • Journey Through a Lighted Room, by Margaret Parton (1973)

    I knew I was going to like Margaret Parton’s memoir, Journey Through a Lighted Room, on page two, when she writes of reflecting upon a Quaker meeting while “wandering aimlessly about the garden with a vodka and tonic in hand.” This is the story of a woman who wasn’t ashamed by the fact that she... Read more

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  • The Mere Living, by B. Bergson Spiro (Betty Miller) (1933)

    Had The Mere Living not been largely forgotten by now, it would undoubtedly be saddled with an shakeable and unfavorable comparison to Virginia Wolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. For both are circadian novels (taking place within the space of a single day) set in London and both really heavily on the use of a stream of consciousness... Read more

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  • My Heart for Hostage, by Robert Hillyer (1942)

    I feel a little trepidation in writing about My Heart for Hostage. It may be the closest thing to a perfect book that I’ve come across in nearly 13 years of working on this site. It’s so good that early in reading it, I felt a frisson of fear that Robert Hillyer would not be... Read more

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